California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) 

Local Government Central

Local Government Recycling Program and Infrastructure Funding and Financing Mechanisms

Local Sources of Funding and Financing

  • Local disposal tipping fees provide funding for diversion programs administered by CalRecycle and local jurisdictions. Tipping fees are generally used to fund daily operational and closure costs of a landfill, but may also be used to fund recycling programs, litter abatement, public education efforts, and other programs. A local tipping fee can act as an incentive to encourage certain practices or a disincentive to discourage other practices. For example, the disposal tipping fee for compostable organic materials can be set at a much higher rate than that set by the composting facility. This would act as an incentive for haulers to bring these materials to a compost facility rather than a landfill.
  • Landfill Tipping Fees in California, a 60-page CalRecycle report, discusses complexity and variation in local, regional, and statewide landfill tipping fees based on posted "self-haul" rates and compares California to other states and the European Union. Comparisons are made for both MSW and green waste fees. The report also provides spatial analysis for California MSW tipping fee data by region and by ownership (public/private), disposal tonnage, rural/urban location, and proximity to other landfills. Although the report was published in March 2015, much of the information was presented during the October 2014 Monthly Meeting.
  • Differential fee structures can be used to incentivize products and manufacturing processes.
  • Two webinars were held in late 2014 , sponsored by CalRecycle and hosted by the Institute for Local Government (ILG), to explore the traditional and innovative ways that cities and counties across the state are funding local recycling programs. These were part of California's 75 Percent Initiative.
  • Additionally, ILG, in conjunction with CalRecycle and advisory committee members from throughout the solid waste industry, published Financing Recycling Programs and Facilities: Understanding Options and Resources. This document offers an overview of the current methods that local agencies use to fund their recycling programs and how the public and private sectors are financing recycling facilities. Connecting the Dots: Recycling Climate and Economic Development discusses how increasing the recycling can reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, and how creating the facilities for that recycling and the use of recycling materials will promote economic development. These documents, and others, are available at ILG’s Recycling Resource Center, which also includes many resources, webinars, and case stories to help local governments finance and site recycling projects and programs in their community. Other topics include anaerobic digestion, permitting requirements, and CEQA compliance.
  • Three workshops were held in October, November, and December 2013, cosponsored by CalRecycle with HF&H Consultants, to explore managing rates related to collection, processing, and disposal of discards.
  • As part of the informal rulemaking process for SB 1383 (Lara, Chapter 395, Statutes of 2016) Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (SLCP), the October 30, 2017 workshop in Sacramento, included a panel of speakers addressing funding programs and rate increases. You can watch a video of the recorded webcast (the discussion on this topic begins at 1:50:00), and you may review a PDF of the slides in the first presentation given by Rob Hilton of HF&H Consultants.

State Sources of Funding and Financing

  • Integrated Waste Management Account Disposal Tipping Fee. CalRecycle’s current maximum tipping fee of $1.40 per ton took effect on July 1, 2001. State law (AB 1220 [Eastin] Chapter 656, Statutes of 1993) caps the tipping fee at this level. The current fee of $1.40 per ton is so low as to offer little disincentive to landfilling. In the past, attempts to raise the tipping fee have been defeated (e.g., AB 1610, Nunez). In the event the tipping fee is increased, one option for these funds is developing a grant program that would provide new incentives for diversion activities.
  • CalRecycle cosponsored facility-financing seminars with the California Resource Recovery Association (CRRA) on January 29, 2015 (Oakland, CA) and February 25, 2015 (Lakewood, CA). Financing for recycling facilities were discussed, including tax-exempt bonds, grants, or loans from California Pollution Control Financing Authority (CPCFA), California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank (IBank), and CalRecycle.
  • Low Carbon Transportation Investments and Air Quality Improvement Program 
  • California Statewide Communities Development Authority
  • California Department of Housing and Community Development Block Grant Program
  • CalRecycle Grant Programs
    • Beverage Container Recycling Grants
      These grants provide funding to help organizations establish convenient beverage container recycling and litter abatement projects, and to encourage market development and expansion activities for beverage container materials.
    • Greenhouse Gas Reduction Grants
      These grants promote infrastructure development for recycling manufacturing/composting/anaerobic digestion facilities in California that divert more materials from landfills and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
    • Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Grants
      These grants provide local government funding for programs to expand or initially implement HHW programs such as collection programs, educational programs, and load-checking programs, and programs emphasizing waste reduction, source reduction, reuse, or recycling of HHW.
    • Tire Recycling, Cleanup, and Enforcement Grants
      Several different grant programs are available to local governments for the purpose of diverting tires from landfill disposal by promoting markets of recycled-content products, as well as for enforcement and cleanup.
    • Used Oil Recycling Grants
      These grants provide assistance to local governments, nonprofit entities, and other parties for activities that encourage appropriate disposal and recycling of used oil.

June 2009 Economic Incentives Workshop

  • An Economics Incentives Workshop, held in June 2009, included discussion about economic incentives that could be used to assist jurisdictions and businesses in diverting material from the landfill and using more organic and recyclable materials. This information has helped CalRecycle continue to achieve strategic directives regarding organic materials and development of additional processing and manufacturing infrastructure in the state.

CalRecycle’s Business and Industry Portal

Where to Go for Help

If you have additional questions about these topics, please contact local assistance staff.

Last updated: November 17, 2017
Local Government Central http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/LGCentral/ 
Local Assistance & Market Development: LAMD@calrecycle.ca.gov (916) 341-6199